Noah’s Wish is too big to fit under even the largest Christmas tree

Noah Grebstein started a cause beyond his years.

CRANSTON, RI (WPRI) – Getting lost in Providence helped a Cranston kid find a cause that’s brimming with the Christmas spirit.

8-year old Noah Grebstein was with his mom Mindy Mosca last year as they got turned around on Pine Street on their way to see Noah’s grandmother at  Rhode Island Hospital.

Did we mention Noah Grebstein is only 8?
Did we mention Noah Grebstein is only 8?

They ended up in front of Amos House where Noah was in tears after noticing a line of people shivering in the cold.

“He said, well mommy, I wish I could just help them,” Mosca recalled. “And I said I wish I could too. I told him there are some ways we can try to help, and he said we’ve got to do this. We’ve got to do this.”

And they did “do this,” turning the elementary student’s goal into a cause called Noah’s Wish.

For the second year in a row, Noah has been hitting the road after school with his mom and stepfather to collect essentials for the needy. He doesn’t waste any time when asked what he’s looking for from local businesses.

“Food and money,” he said softly to Victor Awad, owner of Cafe International.

Awad smiled, as did a number of other business owners.

“Wow. He gets right to the point,” Awad said. “Food and money.”

The businessman was impressed.

“That’s great,” Awad said. “That’s why I thanked him. I cannot thank him enough for thinking about other people.”

“It feels really good just to give and not to receive.”  Noah Grebstein

The goal of helping the needy might be beyond Noah’s years, but you’d never know by listening to his pitch to adults.

Noah means business when it comes to helping.
Noah means business when it comes to helping.

“Nice to see you,” Greg Beaune said. “What’s going on?”

Young Noah didn’t miss a beat as he answered the owner of Garden Hills Fruit and Deli

“Would you like to give a donation to my cause?” Noah asked.

Beaune smiled as he nodded his head.

“The passion for fundraising,” he said. “It’s amazing to see in a young kid like that. It’s special.”

  • WANT TO HELP – Noah’s fundraiser party is Sunday at Toni and Guy, 1400 Oaklawn Ave. in Cranston

David Deluise of Deluise Bakery felt the same way.

“I wish I could do more and I will try to do as much as I can,” he said. “Great kid.”

Last year Noah and his small army of helpers collected 400 pounds of food, 200 coats and $600 in cash.

And this year he has an actual location for the fundraiser, at Toni and Guy on Oaklawn Avenue, where owner Ronald Baccala handed Noah a check.

“It just goes to show you how with compassion, we can really help the unfortunate,” Baccala said.

Noah’s mom expects the work her son is doing now to translate into more compassion as he gets older.

“If he can believe how blessed he is now, he can constantly be able to share,” Mosca said.

Her son sums it up with a Christmas classic.

“It feels really good just to give and not to receive,” Noah said.

The Sunday fundraiser is open to the public and will include refreshments, games and an opportunity to make Noah’s Wish come true.

Send your story ideas to Walt at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow us on Twitter:@StreetStories12 and @wbuteau.